UNCOVER EH seeks to assess and improve the profession and practice of environmental health. This is especially important during a time when health departments are engaging with complex emerging issues and reporting budget cuts and reductions in services.

EH professionals are critical to protecting public health and the environment, yet their efforts often go unnoticed until problems occur (e.g., foodborne outbreaks, vector-borne diseases, contaminated water supplies, disasters). EH professionals help ensure healthy communities. This initiative seeks to understand and address the challenges they face.

What Are the Benefits of This Initiative?

UNCOVER EH can benefit the EH profession by identifying and documenting current and future EH challenges and workforce issues. EH programs can use this information to shape how they deliver services and prepare the workforce. Leaders and decision makers outside the profession, such as those in nongovernmental organizations, private industry, and other sectors who influence EH practice, can also use the information.

What Does This Initiative Include?

UNCOVER EH had two phases: an online survey and in-person workshops with EH professionals to discuss the survey results in detail.

In addition to the initial paper describing key findings, plans are under way to share UNCOVER EH workshop findings on challenges and to report on EH program priorities, impact, and value.

Did You Know?

EH professionals are employed at

85% of local health departments
81% of state health departments
30% of tribal health departments

Describing the workforce helps us identify gaps in staffing and training and prepare to meet future challenges.